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Whenever Any Form of Government Becomes Destructive To These Ends,
It Is The Right of the People to Alter Or To Abolish It,
And To Institute New Government

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Another free trade argument-WE DESERVED to lose the manufacturing

AND, it was inevitable, in which the National Review falls into line with Hillary Clinton and Bill Kristol
William French:
This hegemony could never last. The great industrial powers weren’t going to remain rubble forever. China wasn’t going to remain a poor, agrarian society forever. Neither was India. And when they revived, Germans and Japanese and Chinese were going to be just as ambitious as Americans.
Compounding the inevitable challenges, we tend to forget how much America squandered its advantages — how we gave other countries a competitive edge through our own failures. Take the car industry. By the 1970s, the Big Three automakers were making terrible cars. Poorly designed by white-collar workers, shoddily manufactured by blue-collar workers, they were failing the American people at an unacceptable rate.
I’m old enough to remember those cars. How could I forget? I remember my dad buying a brand-new Dodge that stalled whenever it rained. The upholstery literally fell off the roof of our Chevrolet. A Ford somehow leaked antifreeze onto our feet. And it’s no wonder: In many plants, the culture was completely broken. Here’s how one researcher, Jeffrey Liker, described the environment in a General Motors plant in Fremont, Calif.: One of the expressions was, you can buy anything you want in the GM plant in Fremont. If you want sex, if you want drugs, if you want alcohol, it’s there. During breaks, during lunch time, if you want to gamble illegally — any illegal activity was available for the asking within that plant. The high-paying job for life produces perverse incentives: Because the workers were stuck there, because they could not find anything close to that level of job, and pay, and benefits, at their level of education and skill. So they were trapped there. And they also felt like, we have a job for life, and the union will always protect us. So we’re stuck here, and it’s long term, and then all these illegal things crop up so we can entertain ourselves while we’re stuck here.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/432920/free-trade-donald-trump-american-manufacturing-stop-playing-victim
Nice try.
Let’ stipulate that for a moment (I am 66+ and I remember those cars, and it was NOTHING like that..I bought a ‘62 Volvo 544  in 1968 because it was cheaper than a Mustang, not because it was better, same for my 2 more well to do roomates who had a Dodge Dart, a Barracuda, and another like me who got an inexpensive Datsun 510), but let’s say or the sake of this argument, French is 100% accurate.
So explain why we deserve to lose the expertise in ASIC manufacturing?
The expertise in motherboard manufacturing?
Explain why the inevitability of of R&D, and engineering expertise, and TEACHING of thee things finally fleeing to the lowest cost labor is good or the American people?
Explain to me how pushing WELL TO DO KIDS into schools which ensure their entry in to STEM (STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education), as one free trader snarkily told me, benefits the nation as a whole compared to MAKING WHAT WE NEED HERE, and the disposable income benefits that result from that. To stop free trade in a targetd fashion is NOT Smoot-Hawley, nor is this the 1930′s
Then along came Honda and Toyota. For American families, an inexpensive car that runs, reliably, for sometimes 200,000 miles or more is an enormous economic and psychological blessing. There’s no need to worry about breakdowns. The family budget isn’t strained by expensive repairs. Free trade helped American families. Competition proved healthy for the vast majority of Americans. American cars are better. Foreign cars are better, and many “foreign” vehicles are now American-made. Indeed, the list of the top seven most “American-made” cars (parts and assembly) includes two Toyotas and a Honda. The Toyota Camry tops the list.
And GP goes where?
Here is your real attitude of these free traders, these ultimate conservative PATRIOTS:
The glory days of American manufacturing were but a blip on the historical radar screen, the product of unique conditions that — we pray — will never exist again. Critically, we cannot forget that change can be painful. People suffer.
I will say this again. It is as unrealistic to expect pure conservatism to be successful as any other utopian system.
We have only to look at those employment charts from the Bureau of Labor stats I keep posting, or consider the reluctance of Alan Greenspan to impose regulation on the free market of Credit Default Swaps, and Collateralized Debt Obligations from 2004-8 to know this is observable fact.
The USA is in an unsustainable situation and yelling at the American workers displaced by (example) Indonesians working for Nike just emerging from living in cardboard boxes because they are not adapting fast enough to fit the pure economic models of free markets is an ICE COLD FARCE which achieves nothing.
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posted by Epaminondas at permanent link#

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The white collars of the American auto industry circa 1965 rejected the advice of American quality control gurus like W. E. Deming who then sold the Japanese on the notion of making the same product only better. In Japanese business lore today Deming is demi-god. Deming's ideas were forced on his home country as the American quality deficit became obvious. Still, it took the initiative of the Reagan administration, using a voluntary quota system (short term protectionism) to give the American makers a chance to get turned around. Today the automobile, the poster child for "free" trade, is actually the product of fair trade. And many industry jobs remain in the USA.

I subscribed to NR during that time and for many years thereafter. They never got it right on trade. (It took me years to see the light myself.) Never admitted what Reagan had allowed to happen. Still, there were always just enough Democrat votes to pass every free trade bill that came down the pike. Clinton himself pushed free trade in lock step with the Republicans never suffering in union support despite the rabid objections of unionistas like Dick Gephart. Curious.

Saturday, March 19, 2016 11:53:00 am  
Blogger WC said...

Let me tell you a story.

Back in the 80s my partner and I had a mail order company selling computer hardware and software. Now, mail order - deep discount mail order like we had - was the bane of retail manufacturers. I was very difficult purchasing American product at a price that we could discount to the consumer. The manufactures had a monopoly on their product price. Wherever you sourced it, you met with the same price.

Case in point were American made printers. We could only by them from distributors at a fixed price. So we were not very competitive in that area.

Then one day, a small group of Japanese came to our offices. They had a new printer that they wanted to introduce in the US. We told them we would only carry their printers if we could discount them and set our own price. They readily agreed.

That company was EPSON and within several years, the American printer companies went the way of the American TV and personal electronic companies.

We sold the snot out of Epson printers and even when we pleaded with the American companies t allow us to discount their babies so they could compete, they refused and we all know what followed.

Could that have been prevented and even if not prevented could the American companies compete? Where was the government then? Where were unions then? All towed their line and were inflexible.

We'll never know.

Saturday, March 19, 2016 4:08:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are some of the facts I know about the US car industry vs. foreign-made cars.

1. The US car industry was based on the premise that a) the American family would renew their cars every one or two years. Therefore, American cars were not built to last forever; b) gas was cheap, and c) roads and family road-trips were an important part of the American dream.

2. European and Japanese cars after WW II were utilitarian items not everyone could afford, built to last a lifetime, serving a frugal mentality, product of years of suffering, lacking the most basic needs. Also the price of gas was prohibitive, and car size was therefore of utmost importance.

3. I believe it was Ed McMahon who once commented about the one thing he would regret to the end of his life. He was once offered the exclusive representation of the Volkswagen Beetle. He rejected it outright because of how ridiculous it sounded for any American to buy that car, when one of the proudest moments in every American was to have a shining brand new car sitting in front of his house.

4. For years I followed my husband's position that while in the US you buy US cars, if in Japan, you buy Japanese cars, and when in Europe you buy European cars (he was a Marine Colonel.) But since I could not replace cars every two years, and made them last as long as I could, bills for repairs started to pile, while my friends had no problems with their Toyotas or Volvos.

5. When I finally decided to switch to Volvo, it was after they started to be manufactured here in the US by Ford (what I found out way too late,) and their electric system was a disaster.

6. I finally settled for an '86 Mercedes SL560, which I could not afford when it came out of the factory ... lol.

Charles Martel

Saturday, March 19, 2016 4:20:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

What percentage of technological breakthroughs are invented in America?

What percentage of products that come from those tech breakthroughs are then produced in America for 10 years?

What percentage of the manufacturing of those tech breakthroughs are then transferred to other countries after 10 years?

Saturday, March 19, 2016 5:33:00 pm  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

WE had a Green 53 Ford we dumped in 61
We had a white 61 Ford Ranch Wagon we got rid of in 67
We had a 67 Impala my mother kept until the 80's.

I had 1977 Caprice Classic I RELIGIOUSLY changed the oil of every 3k miles. It went 277,000 miles.

Japan MADE IT'S BONES in the 50's, 60's + by keeping incoming barriers high, and internal prices high. This built their domestic disposable income becuase INSIDE JAPAN salaries were high domestic products were consumed and exports were strong

US Steel, like the US printer companies, would not budge and in 1979 started complaining to the Commerce dept about the Japanese 'dumping' steel.

Nothing helped because the Japs would not come off their trade position.

WHY WOULD THEY?

Then later under Reagan, the pressure began, they went to free-er trade and now look.

I had an Epson MX-80 I loved.
Then as I turned into a res freak I went to a Toshiba 1341 (24 pin), and a Paper Tiger

This stuff is so old it's hard to find an image.

Saturday, March 19, 2016 8:31:00 pm  

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